LEXINGTON, KY -- Italy-based Panariagroup, a world leader in tile and stone products, has transferred management of North American sales of two of flagship brands to its U.S. subsidiary, Florida Tile.

The announcement, effecive immediately, was made by Paolo Mussini, founder and managing director of Panariagroup's Cotto d'Este, during Coverings 2016, the international tile and stone conference and expo held in Chicago, IL, in late April.

During his outline of the plan to Cotto d'Este and Florida Tile distributors, Mussini said, "In order to continue to increase the value of the Cotto d'Este and Kerlite® brands in North America, the business needs to be supported differently, with local inventory, people and promotions. Starting from May 1, 2016, the sales and distribution of these two brands will become the responsibility of our sister company, Florida Tile."

Cotto d'Este is known worldwide as having established a new and unique luxury porcelain tile segment in 1993 and yet another segment in 2004 when the company introduced Kerlite®, an innovative, light yet durable, large-panel sized tile for floors, walls, counters, tabletops and contemporary furniture.

"In order to seize new opportunities and to compete at the highest level, I needed to make changes in the way we were distributing our product," said Mussini. "Today, customers need more than just a superior product. They need a closer inventory, more present and specialized marketing support and skilled sales and technical support they can rely on.

"This is why we made the decision to partner with our sister company, Florida Tile in America, and rely on their expertise and success to develop an action plan here for Cotto d'Este and Kerlite®," he went on to say.

Mussini stresses that Cotto d'Este and Kerlite® will not become part of the Florida Tile catalogue. "We are creating a separate distribution network and seeking the best partners regardless of whether or not it is a Florida Tile branch outlet or distributor," he said. "This way, we can retain and support our existing network of Cotto d'Este distributors and leverage the work done to get us to the point we are today, as well look for the best partners for our brand."

For more information, visit cottodesteusa.com.